Against Russian imperialism, hands off Ukraine!

Putin has just finished his speech to the people of Russia. The man who calls himself president began his speech with an anti-communist eulogy, claiming that Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was the creator of Ukraine and that its existence in its present form is the result of the Bolsheviks' national policy. By accusing the Bolsheviks of "feeding the nationalists", Putin is covering up the worst and most repugnant form of nationalism - Great Russian chauvinism.

In this context, Putin threatened to show Ukrainians what "de-communisation" means. Given the context of his speech, these words could be seen as nothing less than a threat of direct intervention in Ukraine. Not surprisingly, while criticising Leninist national policies, Putin threw stones at the planned economy, nationalisations and praised Stalinism.

The persecution of the opposition, corruption, rising prices for goods and services, the lack of independent courts and everything Putin said about Ukraine gives the impression that he was talking about Russia. We don't deny that the reforms underway in Ukraine are leading to monstrous social inequalities, impoverishment, unemployment and other problems. But we firmly believe that the fate of Ukraine must be decided by the workers and all the oppressed in that country, not by Russian military hardware and pro-Russian lobbyists. Ukraine's debts to the Russian Federation, which Putin reminded us of, are no reason for a military invasion. The Ukrainian people have not become indebted to Russia; let the Russian government claim these debts from those to whom it has given them, including Viktor Yanukovych, who resides safely on the territory of the Russian Federation.

The violation of the Minsk agreements is the work not only of Kiev, but also of Moscow, which has no intention of ceasing to support its imperialist enclaves in the so-called "People's Republics".

We stand for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops, an end to all military support for the armed formations in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, a ceasefire and the right of Ukrainian citizens to decide the fate of their country without the imperialists of the East and West!

21 February 2022

Translated for

Russian Socialist Movement